Film Room: Edmunds Looks The Part Even If Results Don’t

I’m going to be taking a look at a lot of plays here so I’m not going to waste much space during an intro here. Today I’m taking a look at first-round safety Terrell Edmunds and his showing against the Green Bay Packers for the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.

The rookie had slot coverage on Jimmy Graham on the first play of the game. Thanks to the wonderful preseason broadcasts we don’t actually get to see the full play, but from what I can tell, it appears that he has pretty solid tight coverage on the tight end that helps ultimately force Aaron Rodgers to throw the ball away.

Later in the drive, with the Packers facing a third and 10 inside the red zone, Rodgers called for an early snap to get a free play with the Steelers having 12 men on the field. That allowed him to be more careless with the ball, but Edmunds took advantage and showed the ball skills to snag the pass, albeit out of bounds.

Of course we know how that drive ultimately ended, with Rodgers and Graham beating Edmunds for the touchdown. Rodgers had phenomenal placement on this throw (and plenty of time the throw it), knowing that his tight end would be able to go up and get it, giving the safety virtually no shot at defending this ball. Was it flawless coverage? No, but it certainly wasn’t poor.

Following the touchdown, the Steelers responded quickly with one of their own, and Edmunds helped them get the ball right back on the ensuing kickoff, shedding his blocker well and stripping the ball from the returner in a trailing position.

After a quick score, the Packers were back on offense. With Rodgers under duress, he checked down to Ty Montgomery, and Edmunds showed good body control and tackling in bringing the runner down in the open field along with Anthony Chickillo.

That good grace was lost on the final play of the quarter, however, when he allowed Lance Kendricks to shake out of his tackle attempt, turning a play for no gain into a 15-yarder.

Later, he helped to get himself into a pick play working against Kendricks, showing indecisiveness about whether or not he should cross underneath or over the top of Marcedes Lewis with Jon Bostic in coverage.

Finally, he was beaten for a second touchdown by a tight end at the end of the first half against Ryan Tonyan, but he had even better coverage on this one than the first. Again, a perfect throw is going to beat perfect coverage, and there are not many defensive backs who would have found a way to break up this pass as it was thrown. The tight end also did a nice job of turning his body once he snared the pass to prevent the defensive back from raking the ball.

The results actually show up worse, to me, than Edmunds’ actual performance, which is why I argued yesterday that his ‘official’ promotion on the depth chart was well-deserved. He didn’t get the outcomes that he wanted, but he looked comfortable out there for the most part, and will grow with each passing game.

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